It is amazing to me that people will talk about needing "cardio" in their training especially if they do well programmed CrossFit workouts. When the average person thinks of working out, they will say they need to run. And this is because running equals the idea of conditioning. They are working that "cardio", or rather, they are doing a long slow duration activity. Yes, they are burning calories for the duration of the activity but usually, the intensity level is so low that they stop burning the second they are done. I'm in no way say these aren't important to overall fitness as one element of many, but these activities do not equal fitness OR cardio for that matter. Cardio means you need oxygen to fuel the energy system. If you do a movement that uses multiple big muscle groups, and forces you to work at a particular intensity (work in a time frame), then you will absolutely be getting your "cardio" because these big muscles will NEED oxygen. When we program, we are designing the intensity level for you based on the weight you use, or the reps you do, and the work versus rest you are involved with. Let's take this past weekend's workout, it was VERY heavy KBs used in swings, S2O, Lunges, and Goblet Squats. It WAS heavy but how do you make sure you are in the right realm? Stay heavy and cut the reps? I would say yes if the emphasis was more on building strength. If you want the cardio aspect, then lower the weight so that you can either get or come close to hitting rep sets unbroken, and keep your rest relatively short. You do this and I promise you will gasp for air. And this GASP is because those big muscles NEED oxygen to drive the system. And the more you push, the more you will be breathing, the faster your heart will be beating and I promise it will be much more demanding than some run you feel you need to do. What I'm saying is that you need to not be fooled by the old school of thought about what cardio really is and how to get the benefits of it, and then to not let your ego drive your programmed workout. If you don't know the intent of the workout then ask so you are getting the correct version of the workout! Our program is very special and if you do it right...it will DO YOU right:)
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